Final call for women ‘Going for Growth’

Ambitious women entrepreneurs determined to scale their businesses are being sought to join the 13th cycle of the Going for Growth programme.

Women entrepreneurs who are determined to develop their businesses have just a few days left to apply for the latest cycle of Going for Growth, the award-winning business development programme. The deadline for applications is Friday, 18 December.

Going for Growth is a free, six-month, part-time programme, supported by Enterprise Ireland and KPMG, which assists ambitious female entrepreneurs to achieve their growth aspirations.

“We know that more men than women start businesses in Ireland, a trend which suggests there is huge untapped potential in our population that could contribute to the future success of the Irish economy”

The programme is seeking applications from female entrepreneurs across all sectors who are strongly focussed on growth and want to bring their businesses to the next level. This is the 13th year of Going for Growth and more than 750 female entrepreneurs have so far taken part in the programme.

Untapped potential

Sixty places will be available for the latest cycle, which will run from January to June 2021 and the deadline for applications is this Friday. There is no charge for those selected. Anyone interested is encouraged to register on the website and a link to the application form will be sent to them.

“Entrepreneurship is critical to Ireland’s economic stability and future growth,” explained Olivia Lynch from KPMG. “We know that more men than women start businesses in Ireland, a trend which suggests there is huge untapped potential in our population that could contribute to the future success of the Irish economy.

“At KPMG, we work with many businesses in overcoming challenges and creating opportunities, and we are delighted to extend this support and expertise to female entrepreneurs who are responding to the current challenging market circumstances. We are proud to continue our support for this exceptional programme and to recognise the key role of the Lead Entrepreneurs and the continued innovation and drive of so many female entrepreneurs.”

Ideally, businesses should be well established and trading for at least two years. Applications will also be considered from highly innovative entrepreneurs with significant growth expectations at an earlier stage of their development if they have already generated some sales.

Those selected for the Going for Growth initiative join interactive round table sessions led by Lead Entrepreneurs. The Lead Entrepreneurs are successful businesswomen with personal experience of growing a business. These high-profile business leaders volunteer their time to encourage participants to set and achieve personalised goals and milestones to address the opportunities and challenges they face in driving growth in their businesses.

Pursuing excellence

Since 2009 the merits and excellence of Going for Growth have been recognised repeatedly by the EU, OECD and European Institute of Gender Equality. In 2015, Going for Growth was awarded the European Enterprise Promotion Award, Investing in Entrepreneurial Skills. In 2016, the initiative was included by the EU and OECD in a compendium of examples of innovative initiatives. The entrepreneurship tool for policy makers, released by the EU and OECD includes Going for Growth as a case study.

Some of this year’s Lead Entrepreneurs include four previous Going for Growth participants: Dr. Anne Cusack, Critical Healthcare; Chupi Sweetman-Durney, Chupi; Gillian O’Dowd, Azon Recruitment Group and Oonagh O’Hagan, Meagher’s Pharmacy Group.

The other Lead Entrepreneurs are: Fidelma McGuirk, Payslip; Fiona O’Carroll, experienced intrapreneur and non-Executive Director; Monica Flood, formerly Olas IT and Susan Spence, SoftCo.

Áine Denn, co-founder and formerly of Altify, and Breege O’Donoghue, formally of Primark, will lead Continuing the Momentum round tables. This is a further development programme for former participants of Going for Growth.

 “Enterprise Ireland is very proud to partner with Going for Growth and sees great synergy with the focus of this initiative on helping women-led businesses to become more resilient and to scale nationally and internationally,” said Julie Sinnamon, CEO of Enterprise Ireland.

“Supporting ambitious business women to start and to grow enterprises is a priority for Enterprise Ireland. A key objective of Enterprise Ireland’s Women in Business Action Plan is to strengthen the diversity of management teams in existing businesses and to further increase the number and the impact of female-led business, for the benefit of the economy.”

Pictured at top (from left) Olivia Lynch, partner, KPMG; Chupi founder Chupi Sweetman; and Julie Sinnamon, CEO, Enterprise Ireland. Image: Orla Murray/Coalesce

By John Kennedy (

Published: 14 December 2020